Elon Musk’s Boring Company gets Chicago airport loop contract

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Elon Musk's Boring Company has won the bid for Chicago's multi-billion dollar high-speed express train to O'Hare International Airport, reports Bloomberg.

Founded in December 2016, Elon Musk's The Boring Company has landed its first official gig from Chicago City Hall.

Boring Company has developed what it says is faster drilling technology that allows it to create tunnels at least 90 percent below the cost of conventional methods.

Musk's proposal calls for "electric skate" vehicles to whisk passengers through underground tunnels at speeds up to 150 miles per hour. When asked about the high-speed tunnels' funding, Musk noted that he is confident he can raise the estimated ~$1 billion for the project, considering that he has already raised $22 billion among all of his companies.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel said the city is betting on Musk's achievements with Tesla and SpaceX to get the airport link running. That compares to the roughly 40 minutes it now takes to make it from O'Hare to the city via the Chicago Transportation Authority's Blue Line train.

Tesla CEO and founder of the Boring Company Elon Musk, right, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel speak at a news conference, Thursday, June 14, 2018, in Chicago.

The company said it will fund the project in its entirety, and that it plans to collect ticket and advertising revenue.

According to the Boring Company, the skates would have Wi-Fi and be large enough to hold passengers and cargo.

The Boring Company was among four bidders vying for the project, which would be privately funded if the company and the city reach a final deal.

Musk announced last month that it had almost finished building its first stretch of tunnel there. This rendering shows the company's proposal for its O'Hare station. That limited interest from bidders and has caused some to take a sceptical view of the so-called O'Hare Express project, which has been in the works for years. The city is asking it to "design, build, finance, operate and maintain" the system. The Boring Company plans to charge fares below the [request for proposals] requirement that this premium service should cost less than current taxi and ride-share services.

But Musk said look at his track record: building the Tesla cars and the Space X program from scratch.

Currently, Boring has been digging the Los Angeles tunnels, and according to the company, these tunnels are smaller than ordinary tunnels, and so the cost could be a little bit less. It hopes to lower the costs of tunneling in part by narrowing the diameter of tunnels for such high-speed projects.

"The concept of auto elevators on skates add a bunch of engineering challenges, such as reliability and safety of the elevator, loading and unloading times, and the number of dedicated areas in a city you'd need to do this at scale", Constantine Samaras, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, told "Forbes" earlier this year.



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